If you don’t understand the finer points of tomato sandwich perfection or realize the necessity for a soundtrack in your life, don’t worry. Teresa Coles and Kevin Smith can tune you in to both of these things.
One of the best parts of working in the WECO is getting to know the other people who work here. You soon begin to see how everyone’s professional expertise is shaped, not only by education and lots of practice, but also by the little pieces of life that happened on the way here - both the serious and the whimsical.
I recently read the partners What I've Learned sections of their web bios, and it made me wonder, what other WECOnian wisdom is out there?
Two heads really are better than one.
Organization is the key to efficiency.
Mama always said nothing good happens after midnight.
When God closes a door, he always opens a window.
The ultimate cure for a bad day is to drive with the windows down and the music up. Loud.
Maintain the relationships that are worth the work. Forget the ones that aren't.
Good things don't come to those who wait. Good things come to those who work hard and never give up.
Andrew Norris (Our new Strategic Development Apprentice, yay!)
You don't need to know everything about anything, just a little bit about everything.
Smart people talk. Wise people listen.
Never drink to feel better. Drink to feel even better.
Stop procrastinating, and be nice to everyone.
Never post anything to social media after two glasses of wine.
The day you stop learning is the day you become irrelevant.
Always keep bacon in the fridge.
You have the opportunity to learn something new even if you're just reading a cereal box.
Luck is mostly a concoction of brutally minute repetitions + long term perspective.
Teach your tongue to delight in bland, unsalted foods.
And what have I learned?
Nothing happens the same way twice. - Narnia wisdom.
No matter how tired you are or how late it is, always wash your face before bed. - Britney Spears wisdom.
I thought you would like this said the text from my sister-in-law, Rejane, who was spending the summer in her native Brazil.
(Don't you love anything that arrives—whether via the mail, cell phone or a big package at your door—with that particular introduction?)
And so I scrolled.
What on earth? I wondered, looking at a photo of a bunch of *junk* attached to a gigantic board.
And then there was this.
Since I can't read Portuguese, I was intrigued and most anxious to get the story from Rejane. She reports a group of locals became fed-up with people disrespecting their beach and took matters into their own hands. The signs read:
Do not throw trash on the beach. Preserve our paradise.
This trash was collected within less than a mile around this beach. Welcome to our beach!
(Yes, in the bottom right corner is a mass of disgusting cigarette butts.)
Then she sent this:
Pretty daggone effective, that's what I'm thinking, and a great reminder of the communications power of SHOW, DON'T TELL.
No, not the TV show, but House Industries, the prolific type/art/design studio based out of Yorklyn, Delaware founded by Rich Roat and Andy Cruz in 1993.
I first encountered their work in 1996 at the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum at an exhibition called Mixing Messages: Graphic Design in Contemporary Culture. I remember seeing a meticulously crafted 3D cardboard cutout of a custom van with very interesting colors and type — reminiscent of 1960's psychedelia with a touch ’70s creepiness. But what really stopped me was the attention to detail and the craftsmanship that went into that piece. And this project was created to promote a line of themed fonts. Brilliant.
House Industries continue to inspire and amaze — yesterday I received an email from them announcing new women’s shirt designs distributed and sold at Uniqlo. The designs are a type lover’s dream with some great patterns and color combinations. Check them out here.
But it's not just the shirt designs. It’s the fact that these guys (and gals) are involved in so many diverse projects. They partner/collaborate with many different individuals and companies and have become notorious for their tongue-in-cheek viewpoint on American popular culture. Their passion and love for the craft is evidenced in everything they create. They are artists, typographers, craftsmen and excellent marketers, promoting their work within a broad range of design disciplines: fashion, architecture, furniture, print, web, environmental, industrial and much, much more. Check out this recent storefront display for Hermés in Japan. Wow.
House Industries has made an incredible impact on the world of design and they continue to inspire with their creativity and talents. Here’s to House!
Check out this highlight video of some their work.
...and that means you're probably unspeakably weary of smarty-pants posts on what people like me think. So here's something about which I just don't know what to think:
Apparently, this is a recent political ad somewhere in India. So recent, in fact, that all I could find on it was a Twitter post that offered no more information than I have already given you. I don't know who the candidate is, what office he seeks, or why he might have chosen a mugshot/passport photo for his campaign materials. Most importantly, I don't know whether he's running on a pro, or anti Toddler-Urine-Neti-Pot platform.
Long ago I assumed it best not to touch Political Advertising with a 10-foot pole, and I'm not even sure whether this billboard confirms or challenges that conviction. I only know that it's the most bizarre, possibly subversive and undeniably fascinating thing I've seen all week.
Thank you and you're welcome, People of The Internet.
P.S. In exchange for a post about umpteen things I don't know, I give you the one thing I do: That this is flat-out wonderful and makes me feel better about the world.
Reading that article, I thought of all those future Tim Rigginses out there that will now have a productive place to hang.
Have a great weekend.
Technology is increasingly permeating our daily lives, making routine tasks quicker and easier to accomplish while also offering up more distractions. This fact is made evident in even the most mundane of places — the dinner table — where phones have become as commonplace as a fork and spoon. Manwich has taken notice of this and seemingly found a solution that not only paints their product in a positive light, but also encourages families to put down their smartphones and video game controllers in order to spend real quality time together.
The phrase found at the end of these Manwich commercials, "hold on," invites viewers to slow down and enjoy life (and a Manwich while you're at it). This sentiment is not often found in today's fast-paced "do-everything-at-once" advertisements. The resulting Manwich message — delivered flawlessly by none other than manly man himself Ron Swanson — sticks to your gut like saucy hamburger meat, positioning Manwich as a company committed to family values; a company who believes in the importance of stopping to smell the roses (or the meat sauce).
What began as that we’ll-never-be-able-to-pull-this-off idea on Lady Street has routed itself to some pretty interesting destinations this year. It began with the addition of several new CreateAthon partner agencies:
Oceanic Communications, Suva, Fiji
My sunscreen is packed. Don't even think about getting in front of me on this one.
Orchid Communications, Jersey, Channel Islands
An archipelago of British Crown Dependencies in the English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy. Royalty and flags are involved, which may motivate Kevin to travel.
Fleishman Hillard, Toronto, Canada
This powerhouse PR firm will launch its first CreateAthon in Toronto, which we understand to be an epicenter of social consciousness. Perhaps the next RP office location?
If this isn’t enough to get your pro bono mojo on, take a gander at the two newest marathon programs in Europe, which are cousins to CreateAthon.
A pro bono marathon program formed earlier this year as a collaborative effort among two pro bono intermediary programs, Talent Spender and ReFrame, and advertising agencies in the Hamburg market. We had the honor of being approached by these organizations to offer support and encouragement for the first-ever pro bono marketing marathon in Germany. We were delighted to be listed alongside our friends at Pro Bono Labs (see below) and the BMW Foundation as leaders in the pro bono movement and active supporters of KreativMarathon.
Pro Bono Lab, Paris
We met these wonderful folks about two years ago, when they were in the midst of founding an organization to help companies in France learn how to create and manage skills-based, pro bono programs. They adopted the marathon marketing model as part of their portfolio (and are always kind enough to note it’s based on CreateAthon) and now offer a student model (thanks to CreateAthon on Campus).
As exciting as it is for us to see CreateAthon attracting global partners and inspiring other marathon programs, what’s more important is the greater context of this news: That pro bono is moving, growing and reaching areas of the world in which the practice of “giving away your skills” has been a foreign concept, to say the very least. If CreateAthon can be part of overturning that paradigm and fostering new attitudes around the notion of what it means to serve, we’ll consider that a good day (and night).
Content is the name of the game in any inbound marketing strategy, but the "quantity vs quality" conundrum seems to always stifle productivity either way. After recently reading The Practical Guide to Building a Killer Content Strategy by Hubspot, I believe you can have the best of both worlds. Just take it one step at a time and be strategic in the production and repurposing of content.
Here's a quick summary of what I learned from Hubspot's whitepaper:
Build Your Buyer Persona
How can you develop content your target audience wants until you understand exactly what it is they are looking for? Segment your audience into personas that represent your ideal customers based on demographics, consumer behaviors, pain points and motivations. Before developing any plans for content creation, know:
- what problems each persona is trying to solve,
- what it is that they need most,
- and what information they are searching for online.
Map Content to the Buying Cycle
Every industry may have a different buying cycle, and it's important to map your personas' buying cycle to the content and channels that work best for them. Marketing studies have shown that certain content works better in different stages of the buying cycle than others:
- Awareness - blog posts, social media updates
- Research - eBooks, webinars, whitepapers
- Comparison - case studies, demonstrations, testimonials
- Purchase - product information, analyst reports
Build an Editorial Calendar
An editorial calendar is a detailed execution plan of the content map. It outlines dates, what kind of content to cover, which personas to target, and who is the delegate for publishing. Some suggestions for creating your editorial calendar include:
- Create a spreadsheet or shared online calendar so everyone is working from the same document.
- Shoot for scheduling content quarterly, or at least three months in advance.
- Fill the calendar with specific topics for specific dates and who is in charge of executing.
- Note the SEO keywords, stage of the buying cycle, and calls-to-action.
- Plan content around holidays.
- Repurpose content.
For more information on building a killer content strategy, download the complete Practical Guide to Building a Killer Content Strategy.